Abstract

The hybrid plasmonic effect with lower loss and comparable light confinement than surface plasmon polariton opens new avenues for strengthening light–matter interactions with low loss. Here, we propose and numerically analyze a graphene-based electro-absorption modulator (EAM) with high-modulation efficiency and broad optical bandwidth using a dual-slot hybrid plasmonic waveguide (HPW), which consists of a central dual-slot HPW connected with two taper transitions and two additional dual-slot HPWs for coupling it with the input and output silicon nanowires, where graphene layers are located at the bottom and top side of the whole dual-slot HPW region. By combining the huge light enhancement effect of the dual-slot HPW and graphene’s tunable conductivity, we obtain a high-modulation efficiency (ME) of 1.76 dB/μm for the graphene-based dual-slot HPW (higher ME of 2.19 dB/μm can also be obtained). Based upon this promising result, we further design a graphene-based hybrid plasmonic EAM, achieving a modulation depth (MD) of 15.95 dB and insertion loss of 1.89 dB @1.55 μm, respectively, in a total length of only 10 μm, where its bandwidth can reach over 500 nm for keeping MD>15  dB; MD can also be improved by slightly increasing the device length or shrinking the waveguide thickness, showing strong advantages for applying it into on-chip high-performance silicon modulators.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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